How to View Original Full Size Pictures & Profile Photos in Instagram
Today, many smartphone cameras can go head-to-head with premium DSLRs. It’s never been easier to capture a stunning work of art to share with your Instagram followers.
Sadly, many Instagram photos often don’t look as high-quality as the originals.
The thing is, Instagram allows the maximum image size of 1080p x 1350p. If your photo is below this size, Instagram will enlarge it automatically. And if the resolution is higher, as it often is, Instagram will compress and resize your photo.
Luckily, there’s a way around this. By following a few simple steps, you can see your Instagram pictures in all their glory.
How to See Instagram Photos in Full Resolution?
The vast majority of Instagram users browse their feed through the smartphone app. Unfortunately, the native app doesn’t allow you to see pictures in full size. Instead, you’ll have to use your smartphone or desktop browser.
Here are the steps that you need to follow:
- Go to Instagram’s website from your browser (any browser will work), and then log in with your credentials.
- As you can’t click on a picture directly from your feed, visit the user’s profile, and then open the photo that you want to see.
- In the address bar, add media/?size=l to the end of the URL.
So if the photo’s original URL is:
The modified URL will be:
- Hit Enter, and you’ll see the picture in full size.
You can also see the photo in the medium or thumbnail version. To do so, add the following to the end of the photo’s URL:
- media/?size=m for medium size
- media/?size=t for thumbnail size
And if you like the full-size photo, you can save it by right-clicking anywhere on the picture and clicking Save Image As…
How to See Full-Size Profile Pictures?
Now that you know how to see your favorite Instagram photos in full size, let’s move onto profile pictures. As you know, Instagram only shows the cropped circular version of profile photos. The native app doesn’t allow you to see the photo in full size. If you tap on the photo, you’ll only see the user’s Stories, if they have any.
The good news is that there’s a way around this, no matter what platform you’re using.
For PC, Mac, and smartphone browsers, follow these steps:
- Go to Instagram’s website from your browser. You don’t have to log in to see the user’s profile picture.
- Find the Instagram account that you want to see the full-size profile picture of.
- Copy the profile’s username.
- Go to thumbtube.com and paste the username into the search field.
- Click on Submit, and you’ll see the full-size profile picture.
This tool works for all Instagram accounts, whether they’re private or not. In case you don’t get the full-size profile picture, it means that the user originally uploaded the photo in low resolution.
If you use an iOS or Android device, you can get the Qeek app from the AppStore or Google Play. When you download it, follow the steps below to see full-size profile pictures:
- Open Qeek on your device.
- Enter the username of the profile whose picture you want to see in the search field.
- Tap on the circular photo to see the full-size image.
Much like the browser solution, the app works for all Instagram accounts. The catch is, the free version only shows you low-quality pictures.
To unlock the high-quality version, you’ll need the paid version of Qeek. At the time of writing, Qeek Pro costs $2.99. If you purchase the pro version, you’ll see the photos in their original size.
Why Does Instagram Reduce Image Size?
Now that you know how to see Instagram photos in full size, it doesn’t hurt to learn a bit about why they were reduced in the first place.
The thing is, it’s not Instagram that wants to reduce your image size – Facebook does. Facebook owns both Instagram and WhatsApp, and all three platforms are known for reducing image size and quality. You might’ve noticed that the photos that you send on WhatsApp sometimes look a bit blurry.
Now, there can be a few reasons for this. But the most likely is protecting servers from getting overwhelmed. Millions of photos are shared on Instagram every day. And the majority of users go above and beyond to showcase their photography skills.
Pair this with super-capable smartphone cameras, and you get photos that can be massive in size. That’s a lot of data that Instagram’s servers need to fit it. To make sure that they don’t get overloaded, Instagram sets a limit for image size.
While pretty much all social media platforms do this, Facebook’s compression is much more ruthless than that of Twitter or Tumbler. As a result, both Instagram and WhatsApp need to keep images smaller-sized.
Still, this doesn’t make many Instagram posts any less stunning. Instagram’s maximum image size is still enough to let you enjoy your favorite posts.
Whether you find an Instagram photo wallpaper-worthy or just want to see it in its original size, you now know the process is pretty simple.
As for profile photos, the browser method can be your best option. Apps like Qeek generally offer low-quality images for free, so you’ll have to pay to see the high-quality version. Of course, if you find that seeing the full photo is worth the money, an app can be more convenient and easier to use.
Which of the above methods do you like the most? Do you have any others that you’d like to share? If so, go ahead post your ideas in the comments section below.